Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Reviews...

Quote for the Day:
"Anyone who says they have only one life to live 
must not know how to read a book."
 ~Author Unknown

I have come to the conclusion that I will need to live several lifetimes to read all the books that I want to read!  

I have a list going all the time.  I used to hand-write it and keep in by the computer and would scratch off the books as I read them.  Usually, only about 1/10 of the books were scratched off because for every one I scratched off, I would add 3-4 to the list!  

Since I get most of my recommendations in print, one way or the emails from people (namely my sister, Mary Ellen, who likes to read memoirs as much as I do!!), or from an email book list I belong to, or now, from browsing the Barnes & Noble book site looking at what books they offer for the Nook reader...I have now started "copying & pasting" the book title and author onto the "notepad" function of the computer and saving the list on my computer's desktop!  So much easier and neater than handwriting the info on a paper, or more likely, on a post-it note that then gets lost on the desk. 

This is what my current list looks like (before I started putting the list on my computer...which just started today, by the way!  LOL)   So there's another 6 books or so on the computerized list, in addition to this list!  :) 

 FRONT of list...

BACK of list... 

And this doesn't count the books I've already downloaded onto my MP3 player or Nook reader! will take me several lifetimes to read everything I want to read because the list just keeps growing!

But on to the book reviews...

First up is "The End of Normal:  A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life" by Stephanie Madoff Mack.  

  • When the news of Bernard Madoff 's Ponzi scheme broke, Americans were shocked and outraged, perhaps none more so than the unsuspecting members of his own family. After learning that their father's legendarily successful wealth management company was "all just one big lie," Mark and Andrew Madoff turned their father in and cut off all communication with both parents. Mark and his wife, Stephanie, strove to make a fresh start for the sake of their two young children, but Mark could not overcome his sense of betrayal and shame-he and other family members were sued for $200 million in October of 2009. He hung himself on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest. Left to raise her children as a single mother, Stephanie wrote this memoir to give them a sense of who their father really was, defend his innocence, and put her personal statement on record once and for all. In this candid insider account, she talks about her idyllic wedding to Mark on Nantucket, what it was really like to be a part of the Madoff family, the build-up to Bernard's confession, and the media frenzy that followed. It is about the loss of the fairytale life she knew, adjusting to life with a man she hardly recognized anymore, and the tragic and final loss of her husband.  
I listened to it on audiobook and it was read by the author herself.  This book was written and read less than one year after her husband's suicide and you can tell when she gets to the raw parts because you could hear the emotion in her voice like she was about to cry.  It was very moving.  Yes, there are parts where she talks about the "house at Nantucket" and other things known only to the rich.  But overall I found the book riveting!  I highly recommend this book!

Next up is  "The Girl's Guide to Homelessness" by BriannaKarp.  

  • Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age ten, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. By age twenty-two her dream became reality. Karp loved her job as an executive assistant and signed the lease on a tiny cottage near the beach.And then the Great Recession hit. Karp, like millions of others, lost her job. In the six months between the day she was laid off and the day she was forced out onto the street, Karp scrambled for temp work and filed hundreds of job applications, only to find all doors closed. When she inherited a thirty-foot travel trailer after her father's suicide, Karp parked it in a Walmart parking lot and began to blog about her search for work and a way back. 
Though this book is written by a young girl who has made some bad choices, I still found it interesting and it definitely held my attention.   I would give it 4 stars (out of 5).  :)

Remember...the advice is always free on this blog...and you get what you pay for!  :)


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